The day started at the Wired Sussex Finance Forum, a get together to talk about things you should know about the recent changes to tax and VAT laws in the UK specifically for small businesses, micro businesses and consultants.
Today was my day at Fusebox Brighton, my monthly visit as Resident UX Coach for all the businesses that are part of Digital Catapult Brighton.
One of the busiest of days so far at the catapult, my morning started discussing how virtual spaces might be used to explore brand identity and mood boards with BigMan, and a side project they needed a recording studio for. They’re developing an app for supporting mental health particularly in young adults so I hooked them up with my friends at Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) to get some students involved and make it all happen.
Next up was Kate Genevieve AKA Chroma Space, an installation artists working with scientists on a conceptual space. Kate wanted guidance on collaborative spaces online for their project.
I sat down with Darrel, founder of Hexology a platform for sharing digital content in physical spaces to continue our exercises on honing down on problem space and setting value proposition. With a few activities for him to run over the next few weeks, there should be a good message to explain what the product is by our next session, whilst he has some meetings with the UN about what it may be able to provide for a campaign they have coming up!
A favourite resident at Digital Catapult is Charlie Ewing, a games designer with a very different way of thinking about play.
Charlie has been focussing on a tabletop game for some time, but something spurred him to open up a new project so that he can learn a very different skill - marketing. He had the idea of learning how to successfully launch a game using various online marketing services by doing just that - launching a game.
We sat down to go through the game itself, which is really clever, playing on an almost mindfulness exercise whereby you must keep the flow of water and a light orb moving, which to Charlie’s own admission wasn’t the plan but is his intention for another game. It reminded me a little of Pipemania, for those old enough to not remember it, Pipemania is a puzzle game that’s both intelligent and infuriating. You can play it here. http://playdosgamesonline.com/pipe-mania.html.
We reviewed some of the UX of the game and a few ideas came out around the on-boarding element that wasn’t quite helping with getting to grips with the controls soon enough. I gave Charlie some suggestions on how to do some quick user testing before re-releasing it to the app store and experimenting with the marketing tools available.
What a day! I’m very excited by what’s happening right now. After a phone call yesterday I met the dream team at The Big Lemon, a transport company based in Brighton that runs a number of bus routes with their fleet of vehicles powered solely by solar and waste chip oil from local restaurants.
We’re working together on an Innovate UK funding bid to explore the future of public transport to meet their goals of by 2030 all public community transport being owned by the people and having zero emissions.
The day was spent discussing what we might do, who could be involved and getting some rough ideas for the proposal.
All day spent writing out the proposal for Innovate UK funding. It’s a very complicated system and we had to call them on two occasions for advice. What is great however is that the team on the support lines are exceptional. This is a very different kind of project and the first of its kind to be run by Innovate UK in conjunction with the Design Council.
Thursday & Friday
Off to the Alps for a much needed break and serious exercise. We’re back on 20 Feb.
Thoughts from Andy Parker published 10th February 2017